The Eight Schools Association hopes to have more collaboration between its eight member secondary schools in future. The association made the decision to become more formal two years ago, hoping that a new meeting structure would benefit each of the schools. With the formal structure newly in place, the eight schools have been able to focus on the things they can do to improve the schools individually and as a collaborative group. The association also hopes to model each of the schools’ financial aid plans after those of Phillips Academy and Phillips Exeter Academy. Although the association acknowledges that such changes may take more time for certain schools, its ultimate goal is for all eight schools to be able to accept all the students they wish to regardless of the students’ financial situations. The association would also like to get schools’ faculty members together more often to discuss common educational issues, which is now possible with the more formal structure. Over the summer, Lawrenceville will host a professional development program for select faculty members from each school. Andover will host one of the Eight Schools Association conferences during the second week of April. Peter Upham, Executive Director of the Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), will be present to speak with each of the Heads of School during the conference. Topics on the board for discussion include curriculum changes, financial aid, and athletics. The schools will also discuss international programs, a topic of importance to all eight schools. The eight schools are each trying to become more open to global education and to collaborate on making each of their schools as internationally diverse as possible. Though the association has many short-term goals, the eight schools ultimately aim to forge ties in a similar fashion to the Ivy League, but with a focus on academics and other extra curricular activities rather than just athletics.